Legal Question in Medical Leave in California

Father wants baby bonding

I am about to become a father - my first. My wife and I want to spend as much time with him possible. What are my rights as a father in terms of time off? My HR told me that I can't use baby bonding because we don't pay into sdi. ?? Do I have to take my vacation for this?? Is this my only option?? Thanks.

Asked on 8/24/07, 6:16 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: Father wants baby bonding

You are entitled to 12 wk unpaid leave IF you've worked at least a year full time for an employer with 50+ employees. If you're qualified and refused leave, contact me for help.

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Answered on 8/25/07, 4:43 pm

Michael Kirschbaum Law Offices of Michael R. Kirschbaum

Re: Father wants baby bonding

First, the term "baby bonding" appears to be related to time off under FMLA, which has nothing to do with SDI. If you are asking for time off to bond with the baby, you must qualify under the FMLA or its California equivalent, so you can take up to 12 weeks off to be with your newborn. Under FMLA, the employer does not pay you wages, but you can exhaust your accrued vacation.

SDI relates to state disability. You are not disabled, so I don't see what this has to do with anything. Some employees who take time off under FMLA are eligible for paid time off through the employment development department for up to 6 weeks. Maybe, this is what she was referring to. Check with the EDD to see if you are eligible. And ask why your employer does not pay into SDI. Unless it is a public entity, they should be.

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Answered on 8/24/07, 7:11 pm

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